Judas Maccabeus

(redirected from Judas Maccabee)

Judas Maccabeus:

see MaccabeesMaccabees
or Machabees
, Jewish family of the 2d and 1st cent. B.C. that brought about a restoration of Jewish political and religious life. They are also called Hasmoneans or Asmoneans after their ancestor, Hashmon.
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, Jewish family.

Judas Maccabeus


Died 161 B.Cl Leader of a popular revolt in Judea, directed against the political, taxational, and religious oppression of the Seleucids.

Judas was the third son of Mattathias (who died in 166 B.Cl), a descendant of the priestly clan of the Hasmoneans. In 167 B.Cl, Judas, together with his father, led a rebellion, which spread in response to religious persecution of the Jews by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV and grew into a popular revolt. (The revolt was called the Maccabean war from Judas’ nickname Maccabee, which presumably meant “hammerer.”) In a series of battles in 167-162 B.Cl, the army of Judas Maccabeus routed the greatly superior forces of the armies of the Seleucid generals. In 164 he seized Jerusalem and reconsecrated the temple. The armed and political struggle was continued even after the abolition of religious persecution by the Seleucids (in 162 B.C.). In 161 he concluded an alliance with Rome. After the death of Judas in the battle near Laisa (Elasa), the struggle was headed by his brothers until the achievement of complete political independence by Judea in 142 B.C.

References in periodicals archive ?
Hanukkah marks the victory of Judas Maccabee and the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The setting is Hanukkah (the text's "festival of the Dedication"), which recalled the deliverance of Jerusalem from the brutal Syrian Hellenizer Antiochus IV Epiphanes by forces led by Judas Maccabee in 165 B.C.
However, in the 1920s, pressures from the marketplace, the child-centered Jewish culture, and the desire to provide a Jewish alternative to the Christian holiday led to the rediscovery of Hanukkah, the minor Jewish festival commemorating the victory of Jewish patriot Judas Maccabee over the Syrians.